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Industry Leader REI Is Helping Queers Get Outdoors

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REI launched Force of Nature, an outreach program designed to advance gender equity in the outdoors and inside the industry “from the backcountry to the boardroom,” as REI president and CEO Jerry Stritzke put it in a statement announcing the initiative.In the first three years, the Force of Nature project donated more than $2.5 million to dozens of organizations that promote inclusivity outdoors.

The retailer later launched a new initiative, #OptOutside with Pride, that supports LGBTQ+ equality, and now partners with organizations like The Venture Out Project, Unlikely Hikers, TranSending, and Minority Veterans of America.

REI also collaborated with backpacking drag queen Pattie Gonia on the film Dear Mother Nature about the impact of microplastics on the ocean.

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